Merger of Longrove Surgery and Vale Drive Medical Practice

The Partners of Longrove Surgery and Vale Drive Medical Practice are pleased to announce that we will join together to form one practice contracted by NHS England to provide GP services to patients.  This will be with effect from 1st January 2021.  The name of the two merged Practices will be Longrove Surgery.  Vale Drive Medical Practice name will cease from 31st December 2020. Dr Raju Raithatha will join the partners of Longrove surgery and will continue to work part-time.  Dr Snowden will also join the combined surgeries and continue to work part-time.

Below is some further information on why we have come to this decision and what the next steps are:

Why merge the two practices?

The NHS is changing rapidly and e want to ensure that the patients of High Barnet continue to receive high quality care.  We look after patients with complex medical problems, long term conditions and along with increasing patient expectation we want to be in the best position to help these patients.  We feel that the best way to do this is to bring together the two practices in one premises.  By working together we will be able to offer more doctors , nurses as well as Paramedic and Physiotherapist.

The workload in a GP Practice has increased enormously in recent years and we want to make sure that time is used most effectively.  Currently, both practices are duplicating many routine tasks and by working together we hope to make time efficiencies which will free up staff to focus on new services and initiatives.  The two Practices have already started a soft merge in order to be ready for a full merge by 1st January 2021.

Will you have the same catchment area?

Our catchment area will remain the same.  The area we cover can be seen on the Longrove Surgery website.

Will I still be able to see my usual GP or Nurse?

Continuity of care is valued by both patients and doctors.  Even though there will be a larger team of doctors and nurses, every effort will be made to maintain continuity.  By sharing the expertise and skills of staff from both practices we can ensure our current services are of the highest quality.

Will your opening hours change and how to do I contact you?

Core opening hours will remain the same with telephone lines open for all patients from 8am – 6.30pm Monday to Friday. We will still have access to appointments up until 9pm during the week and 8am-8pm at the weekends.  Our phone number will be 0208 370 6660 and our website is www.longrovesurgery.co.uk.  Our website has lots of helpful information about the practice and services we provide. Vale Drive Medical Practice website will cease from 31st December 2020. Please note that the opening hours for Vale Drive Medical Practice have already been revised and are offering same opening hours as Longrove Surgery. 

We have already started work to move to one telephone system.  In the near future when patients of Vale Drive Clinic ring they will hear an unfamiliar message. Please don’t worry as you have dialled the correct Vale Drive Clinic number but as the new merged surgery is called Longrove Surgery the message will only say Longrove Surgery. Vale Drive Clinic telephone number 020 8447 3566 will cease from 31st December 2020. Very soon when you ring Vale Drive Clinic telephone number you will be diverted to Longrove Surgery number as we have already started to share telephone system and staff.

Booking appointments – will I see any changes?

We are looking at this in detail to ensure that an appointment system that works for us a new practice is user friendly and easy to use for all our patients.  The system will offer the correct balance of urgent and routine appointments.  You can book an appointment by using our eConsult online consultation service, through the NHS App, MyGP app, Patient Access online. In addition you can ring the surgery to book an appointment.

Will my medical records be affected?

Our clinical system provider will merge the electronic records of all our patients.  Whichever clinician you see, speak to on the phone or consult with via video will have access to your medical records, regardless of which practice you were registered at previously. 

Prescriptions – how will these be affected?

With a shared computer system there should be no change to the current way in which you order or receive your prescriptions.  If you order your prescription online then we may need to update your access details.  Further information will be provided as we ourselves find out more about this process For patients of  Vale Drive Medical Practice please do not request prescriptions via Vmedical@nhs.net or vdm.prescriptions@nhs.net as in order to change to one system for both Practices we have changed to the above system. Alternatively, you can arrange with your pharmacy to request repeat prescription.

Training

Longrove Surgery has been a training practice for the past 5 years.  The doctors working with us are all qualified but at different stages of their careers.  They spend time at the surgery to build up their experience of General Practice.  At all times these doctors are supervised by a more experienced GP who they discuss all their patients with. We will continue to be training practice when we move to Vale Drive Primary Care Centre and hope to have more trainees working with us in the future.

Patient Participation Group

Longrove Surgery has a virtual PPG.  Vale Drive Surgery has a face to face group. We hope in future to keep to a virtual PPG in order to make it easier for all patients of PPG to join in. Members of PPG of Vale Drive Surgery will be invited individually to join the combined PPG.   If you would like to join the group please email longrove.virtual@nhs.net

Keeping you informed

We will post regular updates on our website, Twitter page and send out communication via our VPPG.  Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic limiting the amount of patients in our waiting room we won’t be displaying any vital information here as it won’t be seen by the majority of our patients.

Published: Dec 8, 2020

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